Canine Hemophilia is a rare inherited bleeding disorder that affects certain dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Poodles, and Bulldogs. This genetic disorder causes an inability to form blood clots when the dog is injured or has some kind of trauma. Without blood clotting, the dog will continue to bleed uncontrollably.
Symptoms of Canine Hemophilia
The most obvious symptom of this disorder is excessive and prolonged bleeding from an injury or trauma. This can be seen as nosebleeds, blood in their urine or stool, and even bleeding from minor cuts or scrapes. As the condition progresses, it can lead to swelling in their joints, which can cause pain and lameness.
Diagnosing Canine Hemophilia
Diagnosing Hemophilia can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to other bleeding disorders. The diagnosis is made based on a physical examination, family history, and laboratory tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and clotting time tests. The CBC looks at red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets as indicators of hemophilia. Clotting time tests measure the time it takes a sample of blood to clot, which is longer in dogs with hemophilia.
Stages of Canine Hemophilia
There are three stages of Hemophilia: mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild hemophilia is the least severe form of the disorder and is associated with a lower clotting factor. This means that while there can be some bleeding episodes, they typically resolve on their own with minimal intervention.
Moderate hemophilia has a slightly lower clotting factor than mild hemophilia, and bleeding episodes can be more frequent and difficult to control.
Severe hemophilia is the most severe form of the disorder, and bleeding episodes are often severe and need immediate medical attention.
Treating Canine Hemophilia
Treating Hemophilia depends on the severity of their disorder. Mild cases might not need any treatment, while moderate and severe cases could need blood transfusions, medications to control bleeding and swelling, or surgery. In some cases, gene therapy can be used to correct the genetic defect that causes hemophilia.
Hemophilia is a rare disorder, but it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that it can be diagnosed and treated promptly. If you think that your dog might have this disorder, contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Preventing Canine Hemophilia
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent Hemophilia. If you are planning on breeding dogs that are known to be at risk of this disorder, it’s important to only breed animals that have been tested and don’t have hemophilia.